A Week Off Social Media
Posted by Michael Vacanti
I spent the last week on a ranch.
Turned off youtube, facebook, instagram, and sadly, even snapchat.
I needed to reassess the underlying reasons for my grind
Snorting lines of likes and injecting ego-stroking comments wouldn’t let me go to an honest place.
I came to some funny conclusions, which I will share in this post.
But first, a brief update:
Winning THE Reverse Bet
I published A Tale Of Motivation: Why I Am Risking My Entire Net Worth on January 5th where I forced myself to accomplish the following by July 7th:
- Publish one blog post per week
- Launch a fat loss workout product
Well, I have published an article per week.
And I will be releasing men’s and women’s 12 week fat loss programs in the coming days.
So, I am one empty netter away from the win.
I also officially finish training Gary on July 10th and have run out my apartment lease, which leaves me with way too much flexibility in my life.
Hence, the need for unhealthy doses of caffeine, long walks, breathing drills, and random songs on repeat this past week – a recipe for getting my head on straight – not unlike the night I became an entrepreneur 😉
What I Learned
Slay Fucking Dragons: The sound of my feet hitting the pavement was inaudible over the inspiring voice of comedian Bryan Callen in my head phones:
“If you are searching for status, and if you are doing things because there is an audience for it, you are probably barking up the wrong tree…
I live in a town where people spend 20 years scratching and clawing to get to the top of the wall, and usually they don’t like the view …
Listen to yourself.
I think you do things because you are idealistic enough to think you can make a difference in the world. I think you should be a dreamer. I think you should try to make the world a better place. I think you should slay dragons.”
Done Chasing Fame: I immediately decided I was done with daily youtube uploads.
You see, several months back, I received the first of many snaps with my face on a giant tv screen.
It was Friday night. And these people were not watching HBO. They weren’t watching NBC. They weren’t watching Netflix.
They were having a Mike Vacanti Vlog marathon with popcorn and protein shakes and blankets and my stupid face on a 70 inch flat screen.
Erect would be an understatement.
I have been uploading for the wrong reasons
“Reach” and “impact” and “help people” are all altruistic enough words, but my daily youtube uploading of mediocre video content is fame whoring to nth degree. It is a desire to fill a void with likes and views and being recognized in public.
My gut tells me that isn’t how deep-rooted issues are filled 😉
So, I am taking my foot off the youtube gas for a minute.
Need To Revisit My WHY: Yeah, I know, my work does help people.
And that feels good. And watching a client have life-changing mental break-throughs really does fill me up with meaning.
But I think I can do more. I think I’m supposed to do more.
Currently, a frightening percentage of my motivation is for money I don’t need and validation that can’t be enough.
I did have a silver lining takeaway while watching a horrible documentary…
The Movie Fed Up Is Shit: This film is littered with nonsense – from poorly constructed arguments to outright lies.
The producer’s problem with the food industry is valid.
But pinning obesity solely on sugar (while implying that calories are irrelevant) and suggesting the federal government be our ticket out of this problem are both head-shakingly bad.
More analysis to come in a full post.
Silver Lining: the movie sparked thoughts about helping kids with fitness stuff.
To Fix Obesity You Start With Kids: Using big government to take away freedom to fix our problems for us?
Uh, yeah, that’s called a dictatorship.
Don’t worry Mike… Big Brother knows best. No more Ben & Jerry’s for you. Forget working it into your macros as part of a balanced diet and lifestyle including strength training, sleep, and proper recovery – we shall ban it!!
I have a better idea:
Inform kids. Change the mindset of kids. Make fitness cool for kids.
I need to think more about what I can do here, but I’m excited.
The internet kinda sucks: Don’t get me wrong. It’s also unbelievable: All of the information that ever existed, video chatting with people around the world and the ability to make a living online.
But the psychology of many popular platforms promote excessive consumption, and one could argue, addiction to that consumption.
You already know I hate most consumption.
But when you sprinkle in all the radical rabbit holes, there is a lot of completely fucked content – race wars, gender wars, and other enormous negativity that can suffocate the fire in your soul.
A week without social media made me not miss a lot of social media (cliche, I know).
I kinda stopped reading books recently: Not because I don’t like reading.
I feel guilty reading books.
In fact, I feel guilty doing anything that doesn’t grow my business.
I’m glad I shook that. I love reading books.
All Attention Is Not Equal: An organic video view on youtube is vastly different from an organic page view on this site.
People find articles primarily via:
- SEO (seeking out exactly what I wrote through search)
- SHARE (receive recommendation from a facebook friend i.e. probably likeminded person)
“New audience” on youtube is more often than not an angry teenage boy alone in his parent’s basement addicted to the screen in front of his face clicking video after video based on the hyperbole of the title or sex appeal of the thumbnail.
It’s important to make that distinction.
Q3 & Q4 Goals
I have a few things I’m going to do. A goal related to my own strength training, a business related goal, a wake-up-on-the-beach goal, and a philanthropy goal.
But my 5th goal leaves this list vague and boring: I am going to scale back on sharing personal content.
People love honesty and authenticity. It’s why I’ve been able to build a brand so quickly – I provide great content fitness content but I layer it with vulnerable details about who I actually am.
I’m slowly seeing some downsides to this – like 1% of 1% of the shit real celebrities deal with. And I have no interest in swallowing the downside so I can take a selfie with a stranger who recognizes me walking out of chipotle.
Let me leave you with one final story…
Mike Matthews and I had a conversation a few months back.
I was busting his balls about a complete lack of social media execution.
But guess what… that dude has garnered massive attention and he doesn’t even have snapchat.
He focuses on his one thing – writing.
I’m a writer.
- Product will be launched
- Moving somewhere
- Done uploading daily on youtube
- Gonna help kids somehow
As always, love comments from you guys who read my posts.
It means the world you care what I have to say.